Euphoric fans embraced and chanted “A-T-L, A-T-L.” There was lots of red confetti, and some tears — some really happy tears.
“You have no idea how what this means to me,” said an emotional Martin Makokha, 33, of Atlanta.“Guess what — a lot of people say Atlanta is a bad sports town. But we proved them wrong. ... We did it. We really did it.”
Behind goals from Josef Martinez and Franco Escobar, Atlanta United defeated Portland 2-0 to win the MLS Cup in front of record announced attendance of more than 73,000 on Saturday at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
Not that Makokha or a lot of fans seem to have much doubt going into a game Atlanta United dominated.
“I had no other expectation,” he said. “I believe in this city. I believe in these players. I had no fear.”
Long after the victory, fans remained in the stands, reveling in the moment.
Katy Cowle and Carrie Duda grew up playing soccer together. Now 30, they started going to Atlanta United games shortly after the team formed. Cowle always knew the team “looked good,” but didn’t expect an MLS Cup this soon.
“I’m so excited I have somebody to root for in Atlanta,” Cowle said. “It’s miraculous. It’s always been possible, but this feels like a miracle.”
Amanda Coyne contributed to this article.
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